About the service
The older peoples mental health team is a specialist service that is embedded within the integrated and recently transformed community mental health pathway in Barnsley. The service is focused on recovery informed care and management.
We are made up of two teams –the core team and the enhanced team. Both teams include a range of professionals who provide psycho-social support, medical and occupation treatment and intervention for individuals who have moderate to severe mental health difficulties and complex physical health difficulties which can impact upon their mental health.
Our aim is to reduce mental health symptoms and levels of distress by assessing an individual’s mental health needs and offering a variety of treatment options. Team members within the service have experience and specialist knowledge in understanding problems that arise with age (e.g. mental health difficulties, physical illness and frailty) which can lead to an increased level of need.
What is the difference between the core and enhanced treatment pathways?
The core team
The core team offers a recovery focused approach to mental health and physical health needs. The core pathway is intended for service users with moderate to severe mental health difficulties who require a less complex package of care, predominantly delivered by one clinician. Core pathway service users may only require brief or short-term mental health intervention or may require longer-term contact with mental health services during a period of stability.
The core pathway incorporates the Single Point of Access (SPA). The SPA accepts all external referrals to the service and can be accessed via general practitioners. SPA is an integrated team within the core pathway and will undertake screening, triage and initial assessments. Appointments will be prioritised on need and initial contact can range between the same day and up to 14 days after referral.
The core team comprises 6 ‘neighbourhood’ patches across the Barnsley borough to make sure that referrals go directly to the right team so service users’ needs are met in a timely and efficient manner.
The enhanced team
They offer a recovery focused approach to mental health. The enhanced team provides flexible and assertive engagement of service users depending upon the complexity and individuality of their needs. Largely, people that require the enhanced team have long-standing difficulties in managing their mental health, difficulties with risk and engagement and require intervention from a multidisciplinary approach. The team brings together a variety of skills and experience into the pathway to ensure the team is well placed to meet service user needs and provide evidence-based and cost-effective interventions.
The team aims to meet the needs of service users with severe and complex mental health problems and their carers in a multidisciplinary, community-based model of service delivery. The focus is on people’s wellbeing, and on supporting them to live independently for as long as possible. The team provides a holistic care approach to enable people to reach their potential and live well in their community. It may be that after a period of treatment or intervention within the enhanced pathway that individuals are stepped down to the core pathway, discharged back to the care of their GP or provided with opportunities to access further appropriate support within the community.
Why would someone choose the service?
Many people approach and deal with ageing as a natural progression in their lives, for others it is accompanied by negative thoughts and feelings.
The community mental health team for older adults recognises that difficulties faced by older people are different from any other group in society. Our staff have all chosen to work in this area and have undertaken training to help us understand the difficulties you may be experiencing.
Our team will assess your mental health needs, looking at all aspects of your life so that we can work together to design the best treatment plan for you.
The types of treatment we offer include; managing depression and anxiety, managing the effects of bereavement, helping people adapt to different ways of coping and getting back into the community. For those who have long-term mental health conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar affective disorder, we offer education about the illness, ways of coping and managing symptoms and how the ageing process affects the illness as well as drug therapy. We also offer advice and support to family and carers.
Our service also runs a drop-in group where people can meet others with similar difficulties to help each other and develop friendships.
Whatever your diagnosis, our staff will help you work at your own pace and always respect your wishes.
We have received a range of service user feedback from evaluation questionnaires which include comments such as:
- “The support and treatment I have received was excellent”
- “I am highly satisfied”
- “ I am in a much better place than I was at the beginning of my treatment”
Staff you may meet
- Administrative staff provide essential support to doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals. This can be in a variety of different settings, with administrators working as a receptionist in a clinic or a clerk on a ward. They may also be working closely with a consultant as a medical secretary.
- There are more than 60 different specialities that doctors work within the NHS. Each is unique but there are many characteristics which are common. Roles range from working in a hospital to being based in the community as a GP.
- Domestic staff have a vital role in helping to care for patients. They work in one of three key areas; catering, cleaning or laundry services. All of these services play an important part in aiding an individual’s recovery.
- There are many people who work behind the scenes to keep services running and you may meet them in hospital or community settings. They include porters, cleaners, plumbers, electricians, decorators receptionists and secretaries who all work to make sure healthcare settings are kept clean, tidy and safe.
- Nurses who choose to specialise in the mental health branch of nursing work with GPs, psychiatrists, psychologists, and others, to help care for patients. Increasingly, care is given in the community, with mental health nurses visiting patients and their families at home, in residential centres, in prisons or in specialist clinics or units.
- Nursing or healthcare assistants work in hospital or community settings under the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional. They help doctors, nurses and therapists give people the care and treatment they need.
- Occupational therapy is the assessment and treatment of physical and psychiatric conditions using specific, purposeful activity to prevent disability and promote independent function in all aspects of daily life.
- The NHS employs a wide range of clinical staff, it wouldn’t be possible to list them all on this website! All our clinical staff are skilled, dedicated professionals who adhere to high standards of training and work-place practice.
- Physiotherapists help people to improve their range of movement in order to promote health and well being. This can help people to live more independently.
- Social workers help, support and protect people who are facing difficulties in their lives. They help people to take positive steps to overcome problems and improve their lives. This could involve assessing and reviewing a service user’s situation, building relationships with service users and their families and agreeing what practical support someone needs.
Why a professional should choose the service
- We are a specialist team for the ageing population made up of mental health care professionals who understand the unique effects and implications of retirement and the ageing process. We are able to use this understanding to tailor the service to ensure that it meets the specific needs of this client group.
- The team works mainly with older people who are experiencing a range of mental health problems compounded by inter-related physical, emotional and social conditions, will work with adults whose needs are more related to our service.
- All non-urgent referrals for assessment are seen within 14 calendar days, which meets the regional CQUIN indicator 2.
- All service users under a care programme approach are offered a physical wellbeing assessment.
- Internal mini record keeping audits, designed to maintain a high standard of record keeping are carried out every three months with all clinical staff – as set out in the essence of care benchmark for care planning.
- Falls assessments for all community mental health teams are carried out by our team members due to the specialist knowledge and skills within our service.
- All mandatory training requirements have been met.
- Service meets requirements for 7 day follow up which ensures contact, where possible face to face, with a service user within 7 days of their discharge from a mental health hospital.
- Our patient surveys indicate that service users feel that they have been treated with dignity and respect.
- Assessment of mental health
- Psychological interventions
- Risk management
- Anxiety management
- Medication management
- Psycho-social intervention
- Liaison with other services
- Psychiatric medical review
- Outpatients appointments
- Regular reviews
- Environmental assessment
- Capacity assessments
- Social skills
- Recreational activity
- Recovery work
- Light therapy treatment is offered for those service users who experience seasonal affective disorder
- Hearing device are also offered to improve communication with service users who are hard of hearing
This service aims to ensure that:
- Every service user works towards their own goals
- Service users recognise the life skills they have and can use these to enhance their recovery
- Service users develop self-management skills
- Each service user has a positive experience of mental health services
- Service users understand their diagnosis so that they are equipped to recognise signs of relapse
- Service users understand how their physical health impacts on their mental health
Referrals accepted from:
A & E, AHPs, Carers/family, CMHTs, Consultants, Courts, Drug/alcohol agencies, GP staff, GPs, Health visitors, Hospital staff, Housing associations, Local authority staff, Midwives, Other NHS services, Other Trust services, Patients(self-referral), Police, Schools, Voluntary services
The Single Point of Access (SPA) team accepts all external referrals to the service and can be accessed via general practitioners. SPA is an integrated team (with an older adult specialist nurse undertaking majority of older adult referrals) within the core pathway and will undertake screening, triage and initial assessments. Appointments will be prioritised on need and initial contact can range between the same day and up to 14 days after the receipt of the referral. Urgent referrals will be triaged and assessed within 72 hours. Following initial assessment the service user will be either:
- Transferred to IHBTT for a crisis (within4 hours) assessment
- Treated within the ageing and needs led core or enhanced pathway
- Signposted to external agencies
- Discharged from secondary mental health services
On receipt of the referral from SPA, it is discussed in our weekly team meeting and allocated to a worker who will make contact and arrange to visit to start negotiating a treatment plan.